What is about x86/VMS in production today ?

, par Gérard Calliet

It’s an obvious technical achievement and a new peace of mind for VMS users.

But it’s also much more than that.

Because VMS is not just a « legacy » application. VMS is not an application, it is an OS. And the return of VMS changes the notion of "legacy".

The return of an OS is the reconstruction of a universe. This is a much more difficult gamble. But it implies a plurality of benefits for a plurality of players.

Nowadays, the return of an OS is a new alternative for building our IT domains of action. Windows, Linux, and VMs in public or hybrid clouds are paradigms that have their interests and their shortcomings. VMS reopens a new alternative, while at the same time the other paradigms could reach their limits.

The rebuilding of VMS on x86 by seniors and young people together delivers new concepts of time, innovation, and the use of fundamentals.

We live in a time where the question of reusability becomes essential. The takeover of VMS is an emblematic example of reuse. In purely scientific terms, there is a continuity between those who were close to the founders of computer science and those who are in the most modern era. The return to the essential is also a guarantee of sobriety, a quality that is in demand today. VMS, following its tradition, possesses by its clarity and sobriety the means to master the products in full knowledge.

This return gives a new meaning to the term "legacy", in our current economic and human context. To give an image : instead of picking the last fruits of an old tree to sell them to the city, settle under its branches, listen to the advice of the village elders and make the right decisions.

What other fundamentals are included ? Ken Olsen’s genius was to find an alternative to mainframes. Putting mini-computing closer to its users. Offering scalability that starts with affordable sizes for everyone. DEC’s solutions were therefore manageable, local, and precisely adapted to the businesses they served. These qualities are at the heart of a new demand for control, for fine-tuning to counterbalance the gigantic solutions that cannot be the only ones in the IT response. The return of VMS is a response to this new need for the most part. But it is also for this reason that VMS has continued to perform essential tasks until today and that choosing a takeover business was an excellent idea.

I wish VSI the greatest success for this operation, but also to all those who will build their business and/or their internal needs on this new alternative. As I have always considered that the existence of user clubs was a guarantee of success, I really hope that once again communities of customers, entrepreneurs and hobbyists will meet and participate in this essential renewal event.

In other times we could have invite for a boot camp on the « côte d’azur ». Perhaps later. In the mean time a good (and studious) summer, playing with VMS/x86.